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Early American History-1607-1750-TAKS Objective 1

Region Colonies Original Basis of Contributions
Reasons economy
New England Massachusetts, Religious Shipbuilders, Religious freedom-Roger Williams
New Hampshire, freedom-Pilgrims self-sufficient later founded Rhode Island desiring
Rhode Island, and Puritans small farms, separation of church and state
Connecticut wanting religious lumber
freedom from Town Meetings where all male
Church of citizens met to decide local issues
Mayflower Compact- Pilgrims
agreed to form a representative
government and obey the laws made
by that government
Middle New York, New Economic Large farms due Diversity in people who settled led
Jersey, opportunities to rich soil, and to more religious toleration
Pennsylvania, trade due to
And Delaware location
Southern Virginia (oldest- Economic Plantation First legislative assembly-House of
1607), opportunities farming, growing Burgesses in Virginia
Maryland, rice, tobacco and
North Carolina, later cotton; use
South Carolina, of slave labor

Key Dates in American History-

1776-Signing of the Declaration of Independence

1787-Passage of the Northwest Ordinance that

established a policy that was used to admit
new states as equal to the original 13 (only
piece of legislation passed by the first government
under the Articles of Confederation)

1787-Constitutional Convention meets to draft the

Constitution that is still used in the United
States today. It is the oldest written constitution
in the world.

1861-Beginning of the Civil War between the North

and the South over multiple differences (one
was slavery). Abraham Lincoln’s election caused
seven Southern states to secede (withdraw) from
the United States. Fighting began shortly after.

1865-The South (Confederacy) surrendered to the North

(Union) at Appomattox ending the Civil War.
President Lincoln was assassinated and the radical
Reconstruction of the U.S. began.

Democratic Heritage of United States from the World-TAKS Objective 4
Event Date Significance
Greek City States-Athens Approximately 500 B.C. First known democracy where all male citizens
met to decide on matters of government-direct
Roman Republic 509 B.C.-27 B.C. Republican form of democracy-where the citizens
of Rome elected officials to run the government
for them
Magna Carta in England 1215 English King John agreed to follow the laws of
the land, follow due process before imprisoning a
free man or seizing his property, and agreed to
seek the approval of nobles before taxing-King
was not above the law
Establishment of Parliament in 1295 House of Lords (hereditary) and Commons
England (elected representatives) formed to give advice
and approval to the king, especially over matters
of taxation

English Revolution 1640-1660 and 1688 Two revolutions (Puritan and Glorious) where
Parliament rebelled against kings of England over
violations of principles of the Magna Carta and
king who did not respond to the wishes of his
people; resulted in a limited monarchy ruled by
law in England instead of an absolute monarchy
Writ of Habeas Corpus 1679 English king could not hold a person in jail
without telling him of the charges
English Bill of Rights 1689 List of basic rights of Englishmen: no standing
army; no taxes without the permission of
Parliament; basic freedoms and liberties for
citizens such as freedom of speech and right to
trial by jury
Writings of John Locke 1690 Justified the English revolution when he asserted
that the people had the right to rebel against the
government if they did not guarantee their
“inalienable rights” of life, liberty, and property;
major influence on Thomas Jefferson in the
writing of the Declaration of Independence

The American Revolution-1775-1783-TAKS Objective 1

Events Date Significance
French and Indian War 1754-1763 England and France fight over colonial possessions
in the New World. England wins and gains
Canada, but also incurs a large debt from fighting
the war
British Taxation Policy 1760’s A series of taxes on the colonies designed to help
pay for the war and defense of the colonies
Colonial Resistance 1760-1770’s Colonists protest and refuse to pay taxes because
they had no say in their passage-“No taxation
without representation.” Radical groups such as
Sons of Liberty form and destroy tea in the Boston
Tea Party
Intolerable Acts 1774 British attempt to punish Boston for tea party;
colonies meet at Continental Congress to decide
what to do; colonial militias form
“Shot Heard Round the World” 1775 Battle at Lexington and later at Concord between
the British and the colonial minutemen-beginning
of the American Revolution; George Washington
led the American forces against the British
throughout the war.
Common Sense published 1776 Thomas Paine wrote arguing it made sense for the
colonies to be independent of England
Declaration of Independence July 4, 1776 Continental Congress agreed to separate from
written by Thomas Jefferson England; based on the ideas of John Locke
Battle of Yorktown 1781 Aided by the French, George Washington defeated
the British and in the Treaty of Paris, signed two
years later, England agreed to recognize the
independence of the United States.

Principles of the Declaration of Independence-TAKS Objective 4

 People are born with inalienable rights that cannot be taken away from them unless convicted of a crime by due
 The government is to protect these unalienable rights-Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness
 If the government failed to protect these rights, they have broken the “social contract” and the people had the
right to change the government, even by force if necessary

Quotes by the author, Thomas Jefferson with regards to unalienable rights:

1. “Noting is unchangeable but the inherent and unalienable rights of man.”
2. “It is to secure our rights that we resort to government at all.”
3. “Man is a rational animal, endowed by nature with rights.”

Many of the ideas of the Declaration of Independence reflect the thinking of the English philosopher, John Locke as
well as other Age of Reason thinkers (Hobbes -social contract, Rousseau-will of the majority)

Major Grievances of the Declaration of Independence, 1776 /Corrections in U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights-
TAKS Obj 4
Grievance Correction-Constitution or Bill of Rights
King imposed taxes without consent of colonists All taxes must be approved by Congress; Congress is made up of
House of Representatives and Senators who are elected by
King made the military superior to the civil The commander-in-chief of the military is a civilian-the President
King kept a standing army among the colonists Congress is the only one that can raise and support the army;
they fund the army
King housed troops in the homes of colonists 3rd Amendment of the Bill of Rights-no quartering of soldiers
without consent of citizens
King refused petition of citizens 1st Amendment-citizens have the right to petition government
King controlled the judges Federal judges are appointed for a life term; approved by the
King denied colonists a trial by jury 6th Amendment guaranteed trial by jury-7th Amendment
guarantees a jury in civil cases

Articles of Confederation-1783-1787 First Plan of Government-TAKS Objective 1

Accomplishments Northwest Ordinance-plan to admit new states into the Union
Weaknesses  No power to tax or borrow
 No power to control trade (each state had its own money)
 No central court system
 No national army (each state had its own militia)

The Constitution-TAKS Objective 4

Written in 1787 at the Convention in Philadelphia
 George Washington served as President of the Convention and also the first President elected after the
Constitution was ratified.
Supporters of the Constitution (Hamilton, Jay, and Madison) were called Federalists. Their arguments for
ratification included:
1. The Articles of Confederation was too weak to preserve independence
2. A strong national government was necessary to preserve independence
3. The Constitution conformed to the true principles of a republican government
(Representatives elected by the people)
4. A bill of rights was not needed because the peoples’ rights were protected in the Constitution-
example-the government could not suspend a writ of habeas corpus (except in times of
martial law (emergency)
5. A national government must have the power to tax
6. A strong national government was needed to carry on foreign affairs and protect the country

Those believing the Constitution created too powerful a central government and did not protect the rights of the
people were called Anti-Federalists (Patrick Henry and Richard Henry Lee of Virginia). Their argument against
ratification included:
1. Ratification of the Constitution endangered the rights of the states.
2. Slavery would be a divisive issue and might lead to a war.
3. A consolidated government would result in tyranny.
4. A national government would have unrestricted power over trade and commerce that
could hurt some states.
5. The federal government would be too large to protect liberty and preserve property.
6. Federal (national) authority would undermine state authority.

Constitution was adopted in 1789-Oldest written constitution in the world today

Principles of the Constitution Definition Example
Republicanism Officials elected by the people to govern President (national) Governor (state)
the nation Congressman and Senator
Popular sovereignty People have the supreme power and those People can vote officials out of office if
that govern get their power from the people they don’t approve of their policies
and/or actions
Federalism Power is shared between the national National government handles defense;
(federal) and state governments State government handles education-
Both have the power to tax their citizens
Limited government Federal government and state governments Powers that government have are
can’t do what they want-they have to specifically listed in the Constitution-
follow the Constitution Example: neither the state or the federal
government can tax an export
Separation of Powers Legislative (Congress)-makes the laws Pres-Commander-in-chief
Executive (President)-carries them out Congress-levies taxes
Judicial (Courts)-interprets the laws Supreme Court-rules laws
Checks and Balances A system where each of the three branches President can veto a law passed by
has checks on the power of the other two to Congress; Congress can override the
prevent abuse of power veto; the Court can rule a law

Bill of Rights- 1791 A list of the rights of the people the government was to protect and guarantee-TAKS Obj. 4
Amendment Provision Example/Significance
First Freedom of speech, press, assembly, petition, Called the Liberty Amendment
and religion-Freedom of Expression
Second Right to bear arms Reason for debate over gun control
Third No quartering of soldiers in citizens’ homes British had done this before the Revolution
Fourth No unreasonable searches and seizures Keeps the government from searching without a
warrant or in special situations where safety is an
Fifth Due process Certain legal procedures must be carried out before
a person can be tried and punished-example-can’t be
forced to testify against self.
Sixth Guarantees a fair and impartial trial in criminal Keeps trial public to protect the person; requires a
cases jury of citizens to decide unless waived by the
Seventh Jury trial in civil cases Jury decides a law suit
Eighth No cruel and unusual punishment or Punishment is to fit the crime
unreasonable bail for those found guilty of a
Ninth Rights not specified are kept by the people Privacy is one of these rights

Tenth Reserved powers to the states Powers not given to the federal government are
guaranteed to the states-states rights

Issues Surrounding Freedom of Expression (First Amendment): Free Speech and Free Press
Speech-Opinions on issues that might be unpopular with the majority must be protected. However, this right
can be restricted during times of war. Speech can also be curtailed when urging resistance to authority or advocating
the overthrow of the government. Inaccurate speech that damages a person’s reputation (libel) is illegal.
Press-Free press is basic and necessary for a free society. It allows a variety of opinions to be written as well
as viewed on television. This is the principle way we get information about government activities. Unlike other
countries, where the government can censor or control the press, the U.S. can only censor in cases of national security.
Untrue stories that damage a person’s reputation cannot be legally published.

The Challenges of the New Nation Under the Constitution-1791-1877 (Underlying Causes of the Civil War)-
TAKS Objective 1
Nullification Crisis- Southern states led by South Carolinian Senator John C. Calhoun who decided they could
1832 nullify or ignore a law passed by the federal government if it hurt their interests-STATES
RIGHTS superior to national rights. At first it was over tariff (taxes over imports from other
countries). Later it was used to rebel against attempts to prevent the spread of slavery
Sectionalism Regional differences between different areas of the country
 North-manufacturing, shipping, fishing, small farms
 South-plantation farming with slave labor
 West-agriculture and shipping-bread basket of the country
Slavery With invention of the cotton gin, slavery grew as did the debate over its morality.
Abolitionism grew especially in the North.
Western Expansion As more territory was added to the country, the struggle by the North to prevent the extent
of slavery collided with the Southern desire to spread slavery; Compromises such as the
Missouri Compromise and the Compromise of 1850 had to be made to keep a balance
between free and slave states.



The Constitution was an agreement of the states and the The national government was never to be an agent of the
national government was to be their agent states
The 10th Amendment gave states all the powers not The “necessary and proper” clause (elastic clause) in
specifically given to the national government Article 1 gave the national government the right to use any
reasonable means to carry out its powers
The states created the Constitution and gave the national People, not the states, created the Constitution
government limited power
The state governments were closer to the people and less The Constitution and the Bill of Rights guaranteed
likely to threaten individual rights individual rights

Civil War-1861-1865 Fought between the North and South over the difference mentioned above. Began when
Abraham Lincoln was elected president and seven Southern states withdrew from the union. After fighting began,
four more states joined the Confederacy.-TAKS Objective 1
Advantages of the North Population, industry, resources, transportation, navy
Advantages of the South Military Leadership-Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, etc.; experienced military
Emancipation Issued by Lincoln after the bloodiest single day battle of the Civil War at Antietam-freed
Proclamation-1863 the slaves to keep France and Britain from helping the South
Gettysburg, July, 1863 Bloodiest three days of the war; South’s attempt to invade the North
Surrender at Appomattox General Lee surrendered to General Grant; North Victorious
Reconstruction Period after the Civil War-rebuild the nation. Many people didn’t like Lincoln’s plan to
treat the South leniently. When he was assassinated a harsh plan followed.

Other significant Amendments to the Constitution as a result of the Civil War:

Amendment Definition Significance
13th Abolished slavery Freed the slaves after the South lost the
Civil War
14 Citizenship amendment/Equal Protection Guaranteed citizenship to citizens-
Amendment particularly the slaves who were just freed-
guaranteed them due process
15th Right to vote Guaranteed the right to vote to all ex-slaves

Influence of Geography on Historical Events-TAKS Objective 2

Geographic Factors that Influence History
Factor Definition Example(s) in history
Location Position on the earth’s surface
 Suez Canal (between Africa and Middle
East)-important because it connects
Atlantic, to Mediterranean, to Red Sea, to
Indian Ocean, etc.
 Panama Canal (between North and South
America) important because it connects
Atlantic to the Pacific-speeds

Physical Features-Place Distinct features that impact life 1. Topography-mountains vs. desert living
1. Topography or terrain of the land 2. Access to bodies of water-Greek city state
2. Bodies of water (seas, rivers, etc.) of Athens became a trading power because of
Aegean Sea; Italian city states in Renaissance
wealthy because of trade in the Mediterranean


Physical Features-Place 3. Climate-location, altitude, and 3. Climate-further north of equator, the colder
(continued) proximity to water and longer the winter; the closer to the equator,
4. Vegetation the warmer the climate, unless at a high altitude
 forest 4. Vegetation-Middle section of the United
 savanna (grassland with trees) States, grassy plains-grows much of the wheat
 grassland (no trees) of the world-“Breadbasket”
 deserts 5. Resources-can impact economy if valuable,
5. Available natural resources i.e. oil in the Middle East, gold in California
Region An area with common characteristics 1. Physical-Sahara Desert-similar topography,
 Physical climate, and vegetation
 Cultural 2. Cultural-Middle East or Latin America-
these share similar language and religion
Human-Environmental How humans interact with their Culture is often determined by what they have
Interaction geographic features done to adapt to the geography; example-
building materials for home based on
availability of wood, clay for bricks, etc.
Movement Position of objects on earth’s surface  Migration-movement of plants, animals,
and people from one place to another.
Example when the Europeans came to the
New World after Columbus
 Spatial diffusion-spread of ideas, beliefs.
Example-spread of Greek culture by
Alexander the Great or the spread of
Christianity through the Roman Empire by
Peter and Paul

Examples in World History of Impact of Geographic Features on History:

 Ancient River Valley Civilizations all settled around a river began Agricultural Revolution (grow own food
instead of being nomadic)-and Neolithic Revolution (new tools)
Egypt-Nile Tigris/Euphrates-Mesopotamia Yangtze- China Indus-India
 Mongol Empire- -Nomads from the grasslands of Central Asia who conquered the largest land empire because of
skill on horseback and fierce fighting skills
 Industrial Revolution-1700’s led by England who had access to the ocean because of being an island and having
natural resources necessary for manufacturing

Examples of migration and spatial diffusion impacted by historical events-determined by

Push factors-push people out of their old location
Pull factors-attractions that lure people to a location
Example Push Pull
Pilgrims/Puritans 1620- Religious persecution by the King of New World offered a place they could
40’s England worship as they pleased
Jews in Russia 1880’s Jews were persecuted because of an Many Jews came to the United States because
(pograms) attempt by the Russian government of the promise of freedom of religion
to spread Russian culture and the guaranteed in the First Amendment
Orthodox faith
Cubans flee Castro and People who spoke out against Castro Many moved to Florida because of the
the Communist take over were imprisoned-no tolerance political and economic freedoms provided in
in 1959 the United States
Fall of the Roman Huns and other Germanic tribes
Empire-476 AD poured into the Roman Empire,
attacking and destroying
Latin American workers No economic opportunities Strength of the American economy and higher
migration wages with laws protecting workers

Irish Potato Famine- Disease destroyed the potatoes in the Promise of wealth and opportunity in United
1840’s ground-starvation due to lack of food States
Slave Trade-1500-1800’s Economic gain available in the New World if
a labor force could be provided. Forced
migration of Africans needed by large
plantation owners because the Indians had not
proved viable as a labor force
Conquering of the Aztec, Lure of gold and riches of these civilizations
Mayan, and Incan by the Spanish

Other Examples of diffusion:

 Bubonic Plague-“Black Death”-1300’s -disease carried by fleas on rats spread from Asia to Europe
killing 1/3 of the European population
 Disease in New World: Smallpox, typhus, measles-diseases brought by Europeans to New World that
killed off a large number of Native Americans because of their lack of immunity
 Advancements of the Chinese and Indian civilizations discovered after Marco Polo’s voyage and
Crusades-led to Age of Exploration and trying to find quicker ways to get the products of the East
 Columbian Exchange-introduction of products from New World to the Europe and Europe to the New
World that changed the culture of both-examples: tobacco from New, horses from Old

Examples of Empires with Distinct Cultural Patterns:

 Roman Empire-27 B.C. to 476 A.D.-Empire stretching around the Mediterranean, connected by road system all
leading to Rome
 Han Empire in China-206 B.C.-220 A.D.-Empire connected for trade purposed by the Silk Road
 Aztec, Mayan, and Incan-1500-In New World

Economic Systems and Economic Development-TAKS Objective 3

There are three basic economic questions every country must answer:
 What should be produced?
 How it is produced?
 Who should get it?

Types of Economic Systems:

Type Definition Example
Traditional Basic questions are answered by tradition and custom Feudal times-Nobles in Europe
-people followed the same occupations as their inherited the higher social position
ancestors did, making things the same way and economic privileges from their
ancestors. The feudal manor was
Doesn’t encourage economic growth and personal self-sufficient, needing no trade
Command The government decides the answer to all three Mercantilism during and after the
questions, deciding who worked, what was produced, Age of Exploration-European
and who gets it countries attempted to acquire a
maximum amount of gold and silver,
Doesn’t provide for personal freedom export more than they import
(favorable balance of trade), acquire
colonies for markets and raw
materials. The mother country
controlled the manufacturing.
Soviet Union under communism-
1917 to 1980’s when the system
failed because workers had little
incentive to work
Free Enterprise Individual members of society enjoy the freedom to United States (capitalism):
answer all three questions and make their own  Allows private property
economic decisions.  Encourages profit
 Encourages competition
 Supply (how much of a
good is available) and
Demand (how much
consumers are willing to
buy at a given price)

Other Key Economic Terms:

 Subsistence agriculture-Growing food for their immediate families to eat
 Cottage/Domestic Industries-Goods made by hand in homes or small workshops
 G.D.P.-Gross Domestic product-Total value of all the goods and services produced by a nation for the year
 Literacy Rate-Percentage of people that can read and write
 Global interdependence-nations that are dependant on others for essential goods and services (Example:
 Developed nations- Examples: U.S., England, and France
1. Higher standards of living
2. Developed economies with advanced technology
3. Low birth rate
4. Low mortality rate
5. Longer life expectancy
6. High GDP
7. High literacy rate
 Developing nations- Examples: Zaire, Bangladesh, and Yemen
1. Countries with lower standards of living
2. Less advanced technology
3. High birth rate
4. High mortality rate
5. Shorter average life expectancy
6. Lower GDP
7. Low literacy rate

Major Political Changes

 American Revolution-1775-1781 Use of ideas of government being a social contract and the government
gets it consent to govern from the people. People have the right to change the government if they want.

 French Revolution-1789-1799 challenged the idea of hereditary rule of an absolute monarch and social
equality. Ideas swept Europe.

 Russian Revolution-1917 Attempt to rid Russia of an absolute monarch called the tsar. Resulted in a
second revolution when the new theory of communism was attempted.


Cultural Change and Technological Innovations-TAKS Objective 2 and 3

Major Turning Points in Date Explanation
Neolithic Revolution 8000 B.C. Agricultural Revolution begun in Egypt and Mesopotamia; man settled
down and began to grow food instead of being nomadic
Ancient Civilizations 4000 B.C. River Valleys in China, Egypt, Mesopotamia, and India developed a
system of writing, technological inventions such as the sail and wheel,
advanced cities
Scientific Revolution 1500-1600 Traditional thinking challenged and replaced by controlled experiments to
attempt to explain nature; Scientific Method; telescope and microscope
Industrial Revolution 1750-1800’s Begun by Great Britain allowing for mass production of goods built in
factories; machines replaced production of goods by hand; began
advancements in communication and transportation
Advent of Modern World 20th century Modern weapons for land, sea, and air; space travel; nuclear energy and
Information Revolution Late 20 Advent of the computer and the Internet changing the way people work
century around the world

Skills Tested on TAKS-Objective 5

Types of data used in TAKS questions:
1. Bar graphs
2. Line graphs
3. Pie charts
4. Tables
5. Timelines
6. Graphic organizers
7. Maps
8. Historical documents
9. Political cartoons
10. Photographs and illustrations

The types of data that can be used with the following skills:
1. Sequencing events-what is the order of events
Examples: A timeline will be given with one event missing and one will have to provide that event.
A series of events will be given and students will identify the correct order.
2. Comparison and contrast-what are the similarities and differences
Example: Two pieces of data will be given and one will have to point out the similarities and differences
3. Categorizing-what are the common characteristics between different pieces of information
Example: Two pieces of data will be given and the question will ask for the common characteristics between them.
4. Determining cause and effect-relationship between what happened and why it happened
Example: Either the cause or effect will be given and one will have to provide the other
5. Drawing conclusions-use facts presented in the question and prior knowledge
Example-One will have to draw a conclusion from the information in the question or the data given as well as applying
personal knowledge
6. Summarize-identify the main points of the passage
Example-One will identify the main points from the data given
7. Generalizations-a general statement about the facts given
Example-One will have to pick the correct generalization to fit the facts seen in the data

8. Inferences-detecting bias, recognizing points of view, predicting, making applications, inferring relationships.
Example: One will have to identify the point of view expressed in an editorial cartoon